iMedia’s Brand Summit: Content Matters

John Ferraro —  October 14, 2010 — Leave a comment

It has long been said that iMedia Summits are all about the networking and the social side of the ad sales business and that no one really cares about the quality of the content. Whether this is true or not probably depends on the individual asked, but I personally like a little balance of both. Last month at the Brand Summit in Coronado, some of the speakers and content were as good as I have heard in a while.

Below are five quotes that really resonated with me and why:

“Creative is 4x more important than the planning variables. We need to start testing digital creative much like marketers have done for a long time with television creative.”

While this is starting to happen with some marketers, it does need to happen at a deeper level and across the board to fully capitalize on the strengths of online advertising.  Just because marketers have the opportunity to optimize during the campaign does not mean that there should not be time and resources put towards testing before a campaign even launches.

“We are constantly thinking in a one-off mentality and are in perpetual start up mode, always chasing the next shiny object – all damaging things to the long-term health of digital marketing.”

We have yet to see many meaningful, long-term campaigns online that build on previous campaigns and tell a story in order to build a brand. While there are so many unbelievably cool ideas with great execution, when analyzed in terms of what they will do long-term to help major brands, you have to question whether they really move the needle.

“For online, the marketer confidence gap is growing – 30% of all time spent is getting only 15% of budgets.”

This stat has been referenced many times over many years. The sad thing is that the gap which has been large for a while is actually growing in the wrong direction for online marketers.  Only the marketers themselves can help to even this out. As salespeople, however, we need to continually bring this up, find out why it is happening and create strategies to narrow this gap.

“The 4 P’s of marketing are now the 4 E’s of marketing:  Product, Place, Price, Promotion is now Evangelism, Experience, Everyplace, Exchange.”

Interesting fodder. Not much more than that right now.

“And who are you with… don’t tell me… a DSP?… hahaha.”

I was actually asked this same question in many forms over the course of the conference. I was just blown away that the burn-out to this topic has occurred so quickly. When 400 ad networks are working it into their pitch I guess the scale can tip quickly.

As always, iMedia did a great job facilitating many quality formal and informal networking opportunities for the selling community in attendance.  With every event like this, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. While I always enjoy speaking to my sales counterparts and brand marketers about best practices, biggest challenges, and near term outlook, it was nice to have content that actually made me want to attend the sessions – and perhaps even more importantly, left me thinking about the event after it was over.

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